The series had its beginnings with two five-part mini-series in 1983 and 1984, then became a regular series that ran in first-run syndication from 1985 to 1986. Ron Friedman created the G.I. Joe animated series for television, and wrote all four mini-series. The fourth mini-series was intended to be a feature film, but was instead released as a television mini-series because of production difficulties. Following the initial two mini-series, the regular series began airing on September 16, 1985 concurrently in line with the second season of The Transformers, debuting with a third five-part miniseries, The Pyramid of Darkness.
A public safety lesson was usually featured at the end of each episode, using G.I. Joe characters in brief scenarios to impart safety tips to children. These lessons gave birth to the catchphrase: "And knowing is half the battle". In each episode's opening title sequence voice actor Jackson Beck states that, "G.I. Joe is the code name for America's daring, highly-trained, Special Mission force. Its purpose: To defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world".
Because the series was produced primarily as a vehicle to sell the toys, each episode typically focused on a particular G.I. Joe character. The animated series was not directly tied to the comic book produced by Marvel Comics, although several properties, such as the Oktober Guard, Springfield, and Serpentor were featured in both the comic book and the animated series.
On November 4, 2002, reruns of the series began airing on Cartoon Network's late-night Toonami block, the Midnight Run. Shortly after the Midnight Run's cancellation, G.I. Joe was moved to Cartoon Network's new action block, Saturday Video Entertainment System (SVES).
An elite special missions force fights against the terrorist forces of Cobra. Based on the successful toy series by Hasbro, G.I. Joe is the code name for an elite strike force comprising of personnel from all branches of the United States military. Their primary purpose is to be a counterforce to the huge terrorist organization called Cobra which is gunning for world domination.
In the first season, the Joe team had 44 figure-based members and 4 animal sidekicks, along with cartoon-exclusive characters. This number includes all the individuals released through 1985, with the exceptions of Colonel Hawk, Crankcase, and Keel-Haul. Those 48, plus Crankcase and the non-figure Sparks, are the "roughly fifty" active Joes mentioned in Worlds Without End I. Colonel Sharp and Admiral Ledger are also considered Joes by many viewers but are not officially part of the team. The second season saw the introduction of 15 more (counting Crankcase), with nine others appearing only in the movie. As for Cobra, there were 15 individual Cobras in the first season, plus 10 figure-based troop types. (A.V.A.C.s appeared early, and Stinger Drivers did not appear at all).
The second season gave us six more individuals and four more kinds of soldiers, not counting cartoon exclusives or the Cobra-La team of the Movie. For both Joes and Cobras, the creators evidently tried to spotlight the newer characters while still giving decent attention to the older ones, especially in the first season. Neglected, however, are most Joes from 1982, who received most of their screen time in the two miniseries that preceded the regular run of the show. In addition, about half the vehicle drivers got the short end of the stick when it came to speaking roles. But it is remarkable that even the less-featured characters had distinct personalities and gained the affection of fans through their occasional appearances.
|Character(s)||English Voice Actor|
|Low-Light, André Vélocité||Charlie Adler|
|Wet Suit, Pierre LaFonte, Viper||Jack Angel|
|Cover Girl, Dr. Nancy Winters||Libby Aubrey|
| Blowtorch, Clutch, Duke, Lift-Ticket, Major Bludd, Scrap-Iron, Tollbooth, Xamot,|
Cobra Trooper, Viper, Tele-Viper, Professor Mullaney, Dr. Massey, Socrates Airtes,
Robert Harper, Thoth, Jabal, Beemish
|Colonel Brekhov, Cutter, Firefly, Rip Cord, Sparks, Spirit, Mr. Queeg, Marty Goldblatt||Gregg Berger|
|Brittany "Bree" Van Mark, Sheila McDermott||Susan Blu|
|Destro, Iceberg, Stalker, Cobra Trooper, Caleb Bronson, Parapsychologist #2||Arthur Burghardt|
|Captain Lukrov, Dr. Hamler, Mr. C||Wally Burr|
|Tomax, Lt. Clay Moore, Owen Van Mark, Gerky Potemkin||Corey Burton|
|Beach Head||William Callaway|
|Zandar (Arise, Serpentor, Arise! Part 2), The Major of Paris||Roger C. Carmel|
|Quick Kick||François Chau|
|Matthew Burke||Philip L. Clarke|
|Airborne, Zandar, Cobra Trooper, Ramar, Dr. Vandemeer, Osiris, Anubis||Peter Cullen|
|Doctor Mindbender||Brian Cummings|
|Ace, Airtight, Wild Weasel, Cobra Trooper, George Lanceburg||Pat Fraley|
|Dial Tone, Mike P. Randall||Hank Garrett|
|Serpentor, Buck McCann, B.A. LaCarre||Dick Gautier|
|General Hawk, King Augeas, Reverend Steen||Ed Gilbert|
|Slip Stream||Dan Gilvezan|
|Colonel Sharp||Robert David Hall|
|Charles Fairmont, Dr. Filmoss||Johnny Haymer|
|Tommy Talltree||Michael Horton|
|Zandar (Arise, Serpentor, Arise! Part 5)||Milton James|
|Doc, Zap, Cobra Trooper, Dr. Windigos||Buster Jones|
|Dr. Shakur||Stanley Jones|
|Honda Lou West||Sally Julian|
| Breaker, Cobra Commander, Frostbite, Gung-Ho, Ripper, Steeler, Tele-Viper,|
Dr. Hibbentrope, Patrick O'Hara, Horus
|Baroness, Maat, Mongolian Warrior, Mrs. Rudat, Madame Versailles, Taeko||Morgan Lofting|
|Vena, Cadet Demming, Mrs. Fairmont, Sally Fairmont, Fairmont Boy, Hawaiian Girl||Mona Marshall|
|Lady Jaye, Madame Vail, Miss Henderhaunch, Jimmy, Buto||Mary McDonald-Lewis|
|Bobby, Young Mainframe||David Mendenhall|
|Mutt, Recondo, Colonel Slash, Spencer Murphy||Bill Morey|
|Snow Job, Tripwire, Flash, World War I American Warrior, Cobra Slavemaster||Rob Paulsen|
|Zarana, Una, Donna Dasher||Lisa Raggio|
|Flint, Cobra Trooper, Strato-Viper||Bill Ratner|
|Deep Six, Admiral Ledger||Hal Rayle|
|Sgt. Slaughter||Bob Remus|
|Dr. Marsh, Amun-Ra||Peter Renaday|
| Buzzer, Dusty, Heavy Metal, Monkeywrench, Shipwreck, Thunder, Hector Ramirez,|
Major Ron Michaels, Dr. Jeremy Penser, Wong
|Grunt (Cobra Soundwaves), Brian O'Hara, Sheik Ali||Dan Roth|
|Footloose, Rock 'n Roll||Will Ryan|
|General Flagg, General Franks, Admiral George Latimer, Dr. Lucifer, General Hawk||John Stephenson|
|Scarlett, Pelar Vasquez, Flo Breckinridge||B.J. Ward|
| Copperhead, Flash, Freedom, Junkyard, Polly, Short-Fuse, Timber, Torch, Wild-Bill,|
Horrorshow, Rock 'n Roll, Cobra Trooper, Tele-Viper, Tom, Parapsychologist #1,
Brett Tinker, Timothy Penser, Pingu
|Storm Shadow||Keone Young|
|Color||Season||Episodes||U.S. Season Premiere||U.S. Season Finale|
|Mini-Series||05||September 12, 1983||September 16, 1983|
|Mini-Series||05||September 10, 1984||September 14, 1984|
|1||55||September 16, 1985||December 13, 1985|
|2||30||September 15, 1986||November 20, 1986|
The first season of the series consisted of 55 new episodes, plus reruns of the two earlier 5-part miniseries, for a total of 65 episodes. In the second season there were 30 additional episodes, followed by a direct-to-video Movie (aired on TV in five parts). All together, there were 100 episodes (5 + 5 + 55 + 30 + 5), along with five different opening sequences.
In March 2009, Shout! Factory acquired the rights to re-release G.I. Joe on DVD in Region 1. They have subsequently released Season 1 in 3 volume sets. On July 22, 2009, they released G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero: Complete Collector's Set, a 17-disc boxset featuring all 95 episodes and extensive bonus features including archival Hasbro toy commercials and a collectible 60-page book. The second and final season was released on April 27, 2010.
The series had its beginnings with two five-part mini-series, that aired in syndication in 1983 and 1984, then became a regular series that ran in first-run syndication from September 16, 1985 to November 20, 1986. The series began airing, out of order, on Cartoon Network from July 1, 2002 to August 22, 2002, at 1:00 AM, as a trial run.. The series was then brought back on November 4th, airing on Toonami's Midnight Run. The series last aired on Cartoon Network on August 2, 2003, as part of the Saturday action/animation block, SVES.
- United States (First-run Syndication) — September 12-16, 1983; September 10-14, 1984; September 16, 1985 - November 20, 1986
- United States (Cartoon Network) — July 1, 2002 - August 22, 2002; November 4, 2002 - August 2, 2003
Toonami Broadcast HistoryEdit
The series began airing on Toonami's late night block, the Midnight Run, on November 4, 2002. Shortly after the Midnight Run's cancellation, G.I. Joe was moved to Cartoon Network's new Saturday night action block, SVES, in 2003.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ""G.I. Joe" - Week One - Talkback ". toonzone.net. November 4, 2002. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/g-i-joe-week-one-talkback-spoilers.3171921/. Retrieved on December 23, 2016.
- ↑ "Cartoon Network Pushes New Programming Block ". animenewsnetwork.com. February 17, 2003. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-02-17/cartoon-network-pushes-new-programming-block. Retrieved on April 4, 2015.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "What going on with GI JOE??? ". toonzone.net. June 30, 2002. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/what-going-on-with-gi-joe.3051601/#post-44811501. Retrieved on December 23, 2016.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Goodbye "G.I. Joe" ". toonzone.net. August 23, 2002. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/goodbye-g-i-joe.3107141/. Retrieved on December 23, 2016.
- ↑ "G.I. Joe episodes - July ". toonzone.net. June 15, 2002. http://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/g-i-joe-episodes-july.3052781/. Retrieved on December 23, 2016.